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This is not a bong story. Au contraire, this is a story about the fine art of the bong, which traces its roots to a 1929 painting by Belgian surrealist René Magritte, called, The Treachery of the Image. It’s a rather aggressive title to describe what would seem nothing more than a picture of a handsomely rendered smoking pipe, a sleek black ebony mouthpiece finished by a sweeping wooden handle, beneath which the artist inscribed the words: Ceci n’est pas une pipe. "This is not a pipe," wrote Magritte, meaning that the painting is merely a representation of a pipe, not a real pipe, itself, and with that unassuming image and sly commentary, the then-30-year-old painter forged a new path in art history, giving birth to the “meta-message.” Ceci N’est Pas Une Pipe, as the painting came to be known, caused a furor in the art world—then again, the 1930s were a furious, polarized time, wedged between The Great Depression and Second World War.